The second stanza of Margaret Atwood's "My mother dwindles", in which there is a boat metaphor, has gotten me a bit confused as I analyze this poem.

If she were a boat, you’d say
the moon shines through her ribs
and no one’s steering,
yet she can’t be said to be drifting;
somebody’s in there.
Her blind eyes light her way.

(The complete text of the poem is online here.)

My viewpoint on this stanza was that the boat is a metaphor to the mother's consciousness which is still present to an extent: "Yet she can't be said to be drifting". But I'd like some thoughts on what you guys think because I'm kind of unsure still.

As well, the last line of the stanza: "Her blind eyes lead the way" is a line that is totally lost on me. I tried to look at in context to the entire poem, which I overall think, is an explanation of the mother's decline of mental function. I would love some help!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.